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Splitz Devon' Safeguarding Team feel honoured to have recently worked with Project Pyramid. Project Pyramid has been created by a group of inspiring young people aged 15 – 17 years as part of their National Citizen Service (NCS) Programme. The aim of project pyramid is to raise awareness of domestic abuse amongst young people aged 11 – 16 years and to raise money for a charity. We were delighted that they chose Splitz' Devon service.
Splitz Devon have worked closely with Project Pyramid to help them raise awareness by speaking at their launch event and supporting the project throughout the process. The young people used a range of resources to raise awareness including utilizing social media platforms, creating a hash tag (#changeDAviews) and producing a rap and music video. Project Pyramid raised an amazing £225 for Splitz Devon. We plan to use this money within the Safeguarding Team to create a further resource to help spread awareness for domestic abuse amongst young people.
The young people originally intended that Project Pyramid would be a short term project for the students’ NCS project, however due to their passion for this area the young people have decided to keep the project going for the foreseeable future. Splitz Devon therefore plans to remain working alongside Project Pyramid to help them raise awareness. We look forward to continue to work alongside these passionate young people and support them in this venture.
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Following the success of the Talk Toolkit for teenagers, Devon’s Safeguarding Team, lead by Team Leader Emma Stephens, has developed a new toolkit for primary aged children. The toolkit, which has been developed in consultation with seven local schools, will provide professionals working with primary age children with a resource to help them support those who have been affected by domestic abuse.
The launch, held on the 21st February at Newcourt Community Centre, was attended by the Lord Mayor of Exeter City, Councillor Cynthia Thompson, along with representatives from local schools and other organisations who work with children and young people, and included a keynote address by Dr Maxine Tostevin, Clinical Psychologist from Tides Psychological Service, and a talk by Jan Mead, Early Help Co-ordinator, on Devon’s Early Help system.
This innovative toolkit has been developed with £3679.67 of funding from an Exeter Board Community Grant. Since April 2016 Splitz Devon has worked with 214 high risk and 60 medium risk domestic abuse victims from the Exeter city area, who between them have 275 children, under the age of 16 years, 31% of whom were between five and 11 years.
Splitz’ Chairman, Francis Wakem QPM said:
"It is vitally important for young people to have the opportunity to talk about what they have seen or what may have happened to themselves. Keeping things to themselves will, in all probability, lead to confusion, anxiety and heightened fear. I am confident this important Primary Tool Kit will help to significantly change the lives of many children and young people; the Tool Kit is an excellent initiative by members of the Splitz Devon Team".
Councillor James McInnes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Education, said:
“The impact of domestic abuse on children and their future development and relationships has long been a concern for professionals. Schools often see this reflected in the behaviour and achievement levels of children and young people.”
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said
“The effectiveness of early intervention has been well researched. Young people, even at primary age, who have experienced the trauma of domestic abuse are recognised to often engage in risk-taking, challenging behaviour, involvement in anti-social or low level criminal activities, which can escalate until they require more costly and intensive intervention, including specialist mental health support.”
A direct correlation between childhood experiences of domestic abuse and poor mental health and the experience of domestic abuse as an adult ,as either a perpetrator or victim, has been recognised in many studies including ‘Talking to My Mum’, (Humphreys et al, 2006 Warwick University).
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Tel: 0345 155 1074
As a result of a re-commissioning of domestic violence and abuse provision in Devon, a service specification was produced which supported organisations to tender on a cost effective service that would achieve four key outcomes:
- Reduction in risk and especially prevention of death or serious injury
- Improved Safety, Health and Wellbeing and recovery from the impact of domestic abuse
- Reduction of repeat experiences of domestic abuse
- Improved understanding and practice in tackling domestic abuse across all agencies
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We offer consultations to non abusive parents and practitioners, group sessions, school sessions, healthy relationship educational sessions (mostly in schools), tool kit work and one to one support. The support is for children and young people who have been exposed to domestic abuse and/or are experiencing domestic abuse in their own relationship either from a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a family member.
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We run a voluntary perpetrator programme (DVVP). It runs over 5 Modules of 5 weeks each and addresses issues of physical respect, intimacy and sexual respect, emotional respect, domestic abuse and the impact on children and rebuilding trust and respect.
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This is a 25 week group work programme that was developed by Irene Wettone from the Hampshire Probation Service in 1995 after 6 months research and is based on the Duluth Batterer’s Programme which was developed in America in the 1980’s.
Wiltshire Turnaround Programme
- Splitz started their 1st group in Salisbury in February 2005 and 2nd Group in Trowbridge in September 2005.
- Wiltshire also has 2 Relapse Prevention Groups (RPG) 1 In Salisbury and 1 in Trowbridge these run monthly.
Gloucestershire Turnaround Programme
- We run 1 group in Cheltenham.
- We currently run 1 group in Exeter.
- To promote and ensure safety of victims and their children and to prevent/mitigate the risk of reoffending.
- Promote change in abusive/harmful behaviour.
- Work collaboratively with other agencies to manage risk constructively.
Splitz Support Service was awarded Respect Accreditation on 7th April 2014.
Once a referral has been received the perpetrator is contacted and he is given a mobile number to contact (this helps to assess his motivation) for attending the group. Due to the current waiting list men are asked to contact the coordinator on a weekly basis by text/phone.
There are up to 2 pre-group assessments which will to be completed prior to commencing the group. These will take between 3½ and 4 hours.
There is a very comprehensive Risk Assessment which has to be completed prior to the man starting the group. Risk is continually monitored during the programme.
At the end of each module the Coordinator, Paloma Coordinator, Woman’s Safety Worker and Group Facilitators meet to reassess risk and manage it. An individual risk register is also completed for each couple. If an incident occurs during the module risk is re-assessed immediately. The safety of women and children is paramount.
We work as part of a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) and will share information with the relevant organisations as and when necessary. We expect information to be shared with us.
Where there are domestic abuse issues in a relationship and the children are on a Safeguarding Plan or CIN Plan, due consideration should be given to have separate meetings with the parents so the victim can share without concern what has occurred. To not do this often means the victim will either minimise what has happened or say nothing in the perpetrators presence. To have joint meetings may escalate the Risk.
We will try to attend Child Protection Conferences/Core Group Meetings if the child/ren or step children have a Safe Guarding Plan in place.
Is a 25 week rolling group work programme with 5 modules of 5 weeks.
Module A – Physical Respect
Module B – Intimacy and Sexual Respect
Module C – Emotional Respect
Module D – Domestic Abuse and the Impact on Children
Module E – Rebuilding Trust and Respect
Group Members (GM) can start at the beginning of any module.
Format for the Group
Each session is 2 hours and 15 minutes long. We aim to run groups for 51 weeks each year (this depends when Christmas falls).
The men sign a contract and confidentiality form prior to starting the group. At the end of each module a report is completed by the 2 group facilitators, which is then seen and signed by the GM.
Each GM will have a 1 to 1 meeting with the Coordinator every 8 weeks to look at his end-of-module reports and his control logs.
He will also complete the Daphne Outcomes Measuring Tool at the Start, Middle & End of Programme.
We also provide reports on progress of a GM if requested by LA, CAFCASS, and Solicitors etc.
Support for Victims
GM must provide details of their partner or ex-partner prior to starting the programme. If they do not they cannot attend the group. The victim will be offered support by the Women’s Safety Worker whilst her partner or ex is on the group.
The group is always run by 2 facilitators normally a male and female. Groups can be run by 2 females but this upsets the gender balance. On rare occasions it can be run by 2 males. A group is never run by 1 person.
Every week there is a place available for a professional to observe the Group. Their role is as a silent observer to see how the group work process works. Observers complete Confidentiality Paperwork prior to observing the group.
Relapse Prevention Group (RPG)
On completion of the 25 week programme the men attend a monthly RPG for up to 12 months. Whilst attending the RPG the men will meet with the Programme Coordinator for a 1 to 1 at least every 3 months, to review their progress, update their individual action plan and complete the 1 to 1 questionnaire.
Devon DVPP contact Mike Bedford